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Bridge pledges to continue campaign for increased access to schools

Charles Okwemba  @charlito56

Bridge International Academies will continue to campaign for the implementation of the Alternative Provision for Basic Education and Training (APBET), which will see more than two million children in informal school and families get security.

The group of schools has also pledged to ensure that children in undeserved and marginalised areas in Kenya continue to access good schools and high quality education.

More than 100, 000 pupils have benefited from Bridge Academies in Kenya so far. The schools managers say they will continue to offer good education options to parents who have low income and limited access but want their children to get quality education.

The pledges were announced at an Open House in Nairobi for legislators, innovators, advocates and partners in the education sector last week.  “Bridge is an education partner in Kenya, building capacity and capability in education and technology. Technology underpins the education we provide and  ICT will play a vital role in empowering Kenyans over the next decade,” said Jay Kimmelman, CEO, Bridge International Academies.

Bridge manages over 400 schools in Kenya, offering 8-4-4 curriculum to low-income families in marginalised areas where access to school is limited, cost of education is high and the quality is largely compromised.  In 2016 KCPE, Bridge pupils had a pass mark of 59 per cent compared to the national average of 44 per cent.

Sabina Chege, Chair of Parliamentary Education Committee said: “If there is use of technology, achieving quality performance and making it possible for more children to attend school, then that is something that should emulated and supported”.

Last month, Bridge was selected as a partner to the Lagos State government in Nigeria for a new initiative called CodeLagos. The programme aims at equipping a million youth with coding skills to transform the state into a major technology hub over the next decade. Twenty three Bridge Academies and 3,000 pupils will be involved.

Other African countries are also working in partnership with Bridge because they hope to see the learning gains achieved in the Bridge schools in Kenya replicated In their countries . Bridge has also partnered with the governments of Uganda, Nigeria, Liberia and India to deliver high quality education in underserved communities.

This comes at a time when the education investment and reforms in many developing countries is taking on the form of Public Private Partnership models as donor funding to education in developing countries falls.

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